Creative Ways to Pay for College By Thinking “Outside the Box”

   Posted 19 Jan, 2009

As times get tougher in the world of college funding, students have been motivated to get awfully creative in their attempts to meet college costs and get (or stay) out of debt. In the past we have seen several new (though not necessarily effective) ways to pay for college popping up around the web, including…

I’ve discussed some of these tactics with you already (see the articles attached to each link) and why they may or may not be useful… But are these ideas TOO outside the box?

Give a Little, Get a Little

While some of the ideas above seem might seem like it will be a trip down Easy Street to fund your student’s college years, most of them are likely to fall short of covering the college bills. The good news is you still have some other options that are a bit more sure-fire.

  • Loan Forgiveness. Many organizations offer loan forgiveness, meaning they cover a portion of a student’s education loan debt in return for the student’s service hours. Organizations like AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and VISTA offer loan forgiveness. The government also offers loan forgiveness to some teachers and medical professionals who practice in low-income areas.
  • Tuition Assistance. Tuition assistance occurs when a company or organization helps pay for a portion of a student’s tuition. For example, students who are members of the military or military reserves often have the opportunity to receive tuition assistance. Many employers also offer tuition assistance programs. Employees or children of employees can have a portion of their education costs reimbursed. Many colleges, for instance, offer this type of assistance to employees of the school. Check with your or your parents employer to see if they offer a tuition assistance plan (or scholarship program) that you may be eligible for.

The Usual Suspects

So, do you think these strategies are reasonable, practical, or just a little too outside-the-box? Whatever your opinion, I recommend that you consider a wide range of options before you make any final decisions about your college funding plan (you can always give me a call if you’d like to discuss creating a college funding roadmap!).

Meanwhile, don’t give up on the traditional ways to pay for college! Remember to file your FAFSA soon to increase your odds of getting free federal aid–it will also give you access to consumer-friendly federal student loan funds. And don’t underestimate the value of private scholarships–review my private scholarship how-to for pointers!

All the best,
Deborah Fox

Deborah Fox is the founder of Fox College Funding®, a nationwide company that helps families find creative ways to reduce their college costs.

photo: Money 10$ Bill by chriz-home

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1 Comment

  1. Deborah,

    I came across your blog this morning and wanted to make sure you were aware of and its service to allow college students to “rent” text books.

    By renting textbooks students can save up to 85 percent or $650 per semester on their textbook bills. A book costing $100 new or $65 used costs about $32 to rent.

    Here’s a link to a recent article on the service in USA Today.

    Please call or e-mail with any questions.

    Thanks you.

    Bill Robbins
    Porter Novelli - for Chegg
    Ph: 512-241-2237

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